Barbies and Meatheads

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Source: via Kym on Pinterest
I'm in the minority of minorities when it comes to my training. There aren't many females that enter the free weight floor at the gym, let alone pregnant ones. I must be strange but I actually enjoy weight training. I'm not the type to turn to crossfit or body building, I just like the feeling of empowerment it gives you, plus the added bonus of some added definition and toning.

Now that we're entering the middle third of March the gym is slowly starting to empty out of all of the good intention January gym joiners. The cardio floor is still quite busy but apart from a quick warm up I don't touch that area so it doesn't bother me. On the other hand the weight's floor has dropped off to to leave mainly the "regulars".

The are two distinct groups of regulars that I come across and it seems to almost fall into the time of day that I attend - either the mid mornings or evenings.

The mid morning regulars are generally older or mums.  They get in and get their work out done. Sure we have the occasional quick chat and idol pleasantries but on the whole they don't sit around hogging the equipment while we act like we're super-setting.  The weights they lift aren't huge and its not very often that a spotter is need to avoid a serious injury. There's no strutting, posing or dropping of enormous weights to the floor making the whole area shake and everyone look in that direction.

The majority of the evening regulars are either young males (25 or under) or guys that think they are young and appear to be going through a mid life crises.  The easiest way to describe them is meatheads. Every gym has a couple.  They have a tendency to hog equipment while they are super-setting but in reality they are wasting time as I don't know the last time that a superset involved a 5 minute recovery between the alternating exercises.  They require someone to spot them as if do manage to push to failure the weight will crush them as they don't set up the safety bars properly, and in a lot of cases remove them all together. They grunt and grown and drop weights on the floor to get everyone to look at them.
Source: via Kym on Pinterest

So yes the above is a very broad generalisation. There is also some normal guys that attend in the evenings but I am normally the ONLY female on the floor. I don't let them intimidate me and will quite often approach them during their time wasting and ask to "work in" with them during their recovery so I don't have stand around twiddling my thumbs. Surprisingly enough I've actually gained a fair amount of respect on the floor over the last few months - especially now that its actually obvious that I'm pregnant and not just getting fat again!

Well a couple of Friday's ago a group of three young women decided to enter the weights floor. As I'm dragging myself up on the assisted chin-up machine I could see the head twitches of the meatheads indicating to the other meatheads where to look.

Source: via Kym on Pinterest
 The young women, were in my opinion, wasting their time even being in the gym.  What's the point in turning up to the gym if you're not increasing your heart rate. These Barbies (OK kill me now for putting down some females) were perfectly groomed, make up, hair, nails - the works.  The took it in turns to uses the pinned machines and in reality the weights they were pushing (even on the leg press) wouldn't have increased their heart rate much above their resting rate. I'm still trying to determine if they were there just to get noticed or to actually exercise.

After the ladies had left the floor the comments were flowing. Other than the obvious comments males make in relation to how the girls looked there were also the comments relating to the amount of time the "girls" were wasting. How ironic - don't they realise that the majority of them are doing the exact same thing. The way I look at it is if you're still on the weights floor after an hour your most likely wasting time. I did also leave with the biggest grin on my face after over hearing a compliment of sorts about how the pregnant chick gets in there, gets her thing done and leaves without a fuss while still pushing big weights for a girl!



Thursday, March 1, 2012

This morning when my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed I realised that my body was just not up for a run. I'd had one of "those" nights with the girls and in the last couple of day's I seem to have exploded a little more. Instead of throwing the sheets back on and going back to sleep I decided to go for a walk instead. Due to the slower pace I decided to take Jessy with me.

She appeared to hear her leash before I even touched it and started jumping around like a puppy and not like the nearly 9 year old dog (who had a VERY tough start) that she is. I'd decided after our last attempted run that ended up with me literally throwing Jessy in a creek to cool down that her running days were over but a surely a 5km walk couldn't be that bad and she'd surely be able to keep up with my 27 plus week waddle.

As we walked down the street, me waddling, her wagging, she dashed all over the place in the still dewy grass.  500m down and it was time for the lead to go on as we approach a couple of other four legged walkers.  There was no way at this stage that Jessy was interested in healing. Another 500m down the road and the bounce in her had diminished and she was ready to heal and walk beside me without any tension on the leash. Across the train line we go and I notice that our pace as slowed and needs to be picked up again.

Past the train station and about 2km from home but home is visible and Jessy wants to cross back over the line. I don't pay any attention that she has now dropped off my shoulder and is trailing behind me. We follow the train line towards the next station, which is all up hill and by the 3.5km mark I'm almost pulling her along and I've had to slow down to less than 5km/hr. She's not limping or anything like that, she's just buggered but at least its (mainly) downhill.

Down the hill we go, which when I first started running made me grind to a halt, and Jess picks up a little pace. Back onto the main road and the truck that goes past seems to give Jessy a second wind but we've still got 1km to get home.  If anyone was around they would have thought I was nuts as I was talking to a dog about being nearly home now. I dared not mention the last little hill to her.

Up the last hill I dragged her and past the train station once again. It's all down hill now and no more roads to cross, and no pedestrians or dogs in sight so off comes the leash. One last little spurt of energy comes through for all of 10m. We round the corner and home is only 100m away. I'm sick of urging her on by this stage and leave her to follow after me.  Even my DH comments on how buggered she looks as I walk up the driveway while she's still another good 25m away. It taken us 55 minutes to walk a tad over 5km.

Jess walks (actually more likes drags herself) in the front door and heads out the back for a well deserved drink. I start doing the morning chores while the girls drag themselves out of bed and sit at their table for breakfast. Its then that I realise that Jessy isn't near the table watching for dropped food.  I call her and there's no sound. I walk back towards the kitchen and spot her, spread out on the floor with a look of "I'm not moving another inch" on her face. Her wag has even slowed - I've got one tired puppy on my hands.

Somehow I think someone may have slept rather soundly in her kennel today.


Running (not so) Free

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Today like all Saturday's I attend my local parkrun. Unlike most other Saturday morning recently the sky's around Brisbane were looking just a tad wet. It had been raining most of Friday and when I woke up I was surprised to see that there was a break in the weather. I was actually hoping that there would still be some rain falling. Call me crazy if you like but I love to run in the rain. My thoughts then turned to my friend Helen who would be running while pushing her twins in the pram and then I changed my mind on the idea of rain as she then wouldn't be able to run.

Even though I was up earlier than required today and I had attempted to gather most of my gear together in a neat pile on the floor the night before disorganisation was going to get the best of me.  It had all started with my leaving my phone behind at work on Friday afternoon. This meant that I had to cancel my carpooling plans with Helen in case she was unable to make it as I wouldn't get her text to say grab your own car today.

After I managed to get my youngest back to sleep there was no point going back to bed myself. I got dresssed, grabbed my gear and headed out the door. The plan was to go via work and pick up my phone, more to stop me worrying that maybe, just maybe it had fallen out of my bag at the gym on Friday night.

Just around the corner from work it dawned on me that I hadn't packed my cap. How does one run without something on their head?  I came accustomed to wearing a cap last winter as I found that it stopped my ears aching painful in our (not so cold) winter mornings. As I pulled into the driveway at work I looked over into the back of the ute and low and behold in all of the miscellaneous stuff my husband keeps back there, there was a cap at the top of it all. Problem solved. Into work I hopped and grabbed my phone before heading towards to the city.

I managed to arrive rather early and strolled on down to the gathering spot to get ready. For some unknown reason I hadn't put my HR strap and watch on before leaving home and this was the real start to my undoing. I fumbled with my strap, and flashed my pregnant belly while talking to Roba and her daughter. I carefully threaded my ear piece down my back and under my arm and into my cleavage as I try and avoid having my iPod in my spibelt now as since I no longer have a waist it has a tendency to end up under my boobs. Next its time for the watch. I look for it and can't find it. I empty my bag and still no luck. I check the time on my phone and its about 10 minutes to we start so I head back to the car to find my watch.

I pass Helen on the way to the car as she walks down with her girls and say I'll make it back while handing her a belated birthday present.  Back at the ute I scramble looking for the watch - no luck. Oh well I'll be running without knowing my pace or heart rate. This is brand new territory for me. Back to the starting line now as everyone finishes their warm up.

I meet up with Helen again who has decided to start from the back of the pack due to her "handicap" today. As the other 122 runners (a far cry from 226 a couple of weeks ago) come and join us at the start area I feel strangely naked. I know people run without a GPS watch or even a HR monitor all the time but this feels worse to me than not having my music playing! Its not like I continuely check it, its just having that extra bit of back up to know how I'm travelling, that I'm not pushing too hard, how far I've come and more importantly how far is left to go.  The starter does their duties and we're all off and I'm running "free".

I won't bore you with the details of the whole 5km but what I can say is I found it so hard. I'm guessing most of it was a mental mind set thing due to not having my watch on but there was the other part of watching my footing due to the slippery pavements and the humidity. No kidding, it must have be 98% out there today - how I wanted it to rain just to cool me down but I know those two little girls sitting in Helen's pram would not have been impressed if it did rain. My official time was 36:18, 2:22 slower than last week.  Next week I will have my watch with me as I'm not a fan of this free running stuff!

The biggest hat's off today has to go to Helen who ran a unbelievable 38:23 while pushing the girls in a non-running pram into a head wind for about 2km. Now that's a Super Mum!


Running for Two

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I've been really quiet on here and I can't believe its been nearly 3 months since I've done a blog post. Time really flies when you're juggling numerous balls.

25+ weeks
I'm now over 26 weeks pregnant and approaching the final trimester of my pregnancy. My belly has started to look pregnant instead of fat. What seems to amaze people is that I'm still doing weight training 2 - 3 days a week and I'm running between 15 and 19km on top of that. I've had so many people urge me to stop training and even more that are concerned about my running. I've got the full support of my doctor to keep going and his advice is that I will just know when enough is enough.

Now I'm no expert, I'm not medically trained so don't take anything here as gospel and definitely do your own research and tall to your own doctors if you want to run while pregnant. For most women that have been running before falling pregnant there are no reason why you should stop once you conceive. Obviously if you weren't a runner before hand its not the time to take it up but if you have a low-risk pregnancy you shouldn't have to dramatically change your exercise routine.

If found that during my first trimester that going for a run (and to a lesser extent doing my strength training) helped to keep my morning sickness at bay. Looking back now I think it was more that the running gave me something else to think about and took my mind off that awful "I think I'm going to hurt" feeling in my stomach.  Fatigue also rears its head during the stage but once again the endorphins from the exercise helped to rise above it.  During this first 13 weeks my training barely changed. I was more conscience about my heart rate and over heating but my mileage and pace stayed fairly constant.

Almost 22 weeks

Almost 24 weeks

From 14 to 22 weeks I started to slow things down a bit. Both my mileage and pace dropped off. Some of this was due to my belly starting to swell but the main reason was due to the heat of summer. My weights during my strength sessions have basically been the same from this point forward too.  I'm actually not wanting to increase any of them even if I'm feeling ready to as the increase in relaxin can make your muscles, joints and ligaments more unstable.

Almost 26 weeks
About 3 weeks ago I thought that my running days were about to be replaced by shuffles. My Saturday 5km run times were increasing in time, which is to be expected. Well I'm still not sure what has happened but just over 2 weeks ago I record a PB at parkrun and then 1 week ago I equalled it. Now this is not a true 5km PB as I have gone faster but its the fastest I've done since starting this course on New Year's Eve.

I'm no where near the fastest that runs each Saturday but I'm having a giggle at the pseudo celebrity that my belly has become. It also gives me a little bit of a lift when the volunteers on the day call out things like "your stowaway is the fastest runner in her age group".

I'm hoping that I can keep running up until the weekend before baby number three arrives, but with my past history if I'm still running at 30 weeks I'll be happy. Any activity after that will be a bonus, be it a shuffle a run or a session at the gym. To date I've put on a total of 5kg since falling pregnant. I'm not trying to not put on weight and to be honest my diet has be far from perfect recently but when I compare it to my previous pregnancies there is no comparison to be made.  If you tried to tell me that I'd be running at 26 weeks pregnant this time last year I would have laughed in your face and today if you told me to stop I would not so politely tell you where to go.


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